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S6                   HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
The Ablasid Propaganda.—It was about this period
that Mohamed, great-grandson of Abbas, the uncle of the
Prophet, began to advance the pretensions of the Hashi-
xnite branch of the Kureish. To conciliate the Shia party,
it was claimed that the rights of the house of Ali had been
surrendered and merged in the Abbasid representatives,
and emissaries from Mohamed, who lived in a retreat in
the wilds of Palestine, began to visit Khorasan, where
their Hashimite propaganda found a fruitful soil. The
pioneers were put to death, but the cause prospered
nevertheless, and gained many adherents throughout
Persia and Irak.
The Rebellion of Zayd^ A.H. 122 (740).—The Abbasid
party was greatly strengthened by the attempt of Zayd, a
grandson of Husayn, to raise a rebellion. The Kufans,
true to their record, covenanted with him but^jled^him
when he raised his standard/ 'He died fighting bravely,
and with him the cause of the Shias was lost for the time
being, while the opposition to the Omayyad dynasty
became more united in favour of the house of Abbas,
The Caliphate of Hisham, A.H. 105-125 (724—743).—
During the comparatively long reign of Hisham the
decline of the Omayyad dynasty continued. I have
mentioned briefly the only incidents which directly con-
cern Persia. But the fact should not be overlooked that
it was during the Caliphate of Hisham that the Moslems
invaded France. For Europe the issue of the battle won
by Charles Martel in A.D. 732, exactly a century after the
death of the Founder of Islam, was of supreme importance.
As Lord Houghton wrote:
Think if the arm of Charles Martel
Had failed upon the Plain of Tours'!
That fate whose course we know so well,
That foul subjection, had been ours.
Where then had been the high renown
France can from sire to son deliver,
Where English freedom, rolling down,
One broadening, one continuous river.1
1 Quoted from the Spectator of October 5, 1912,   I have to thank its editor for the
identification of the quotation.